#ruby-offtopic - 28 April 2016
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[00:00:20] smathy: [17:20:19] crystal77: How feasible is it to learn Ruby, if we don't use it at work? Everything is in Python, and my interest is being a Rails dev.
[00:03:42] Radar: There are groups of people calling themselves programmers who only learn what they're being paid to already know?!?!?!? <- yes
[03:33:28] eam: I think the short answer might be "no, because terminal attaching/detatching is considerably invasive and the right way to do it is to allocate a pty via screen/tmux"
[03:35:41] hxegon_AFK: eam: you're probably right. Maybe I can make a tmux or screen config that cuts it down to just session functionality.
[03:36:38] eam: that's the right thing to do. There are ways to hack a re-attach but they're very application dependent and essentially are a process like "hook up gdb and insert code to manipulate the descriptors"
[04:01:25] baweaver: next he'll say something lame about abandoning all his open source projects for family
[04:02:47] hxegon: Work-Life balance? Of course I have that! I work 80 hours a week, and then I go home and craft artisian JS until I fall asleep over my laptop. Work-Lyfe.
[04:39:23] eam: also, like, if learning something *for work* is gonna have some huge stupid payout I think I'm gonna do that instead of making some random crap
[21:56:17] eam: Radar: btw, @3ameam is me -- in case twitter is a crappy medium for my question. Saw a friend of mine discussing your latest blog and I'm really curious how internships don't fit that use case for jr devs
[21:57:11] eam: one kinda big drawback is that they tend to only have a pipeline from college, but part of that is because the non-college pipeline into tech is via ops
[21:57:43] eam: and ops does tend to slurp up green recruits -- mostly because it involves covering shifts that no one wants to cover
[22:23:30] smathy: Maybe Radar mentioned it after where I stopped reading, but one of the issues with doing the whole mentoring thing in a hot market like we have now is that you no sooner get them up to a decent, productive level and they leave.
[22:25:53] smathy: ...not saying it's a deal breaker, or there aren't ways around it, etc., but as a solution to a hot talent market it's definitely an issue with the "hire and train your own juniors" as a solution.
[22:26:38] baweaver: You're effectively throwing more water into the talent pool for later if nothing else
[22:27:13] baweaver: poaching already happens at those levels, so it shouldn't be seen as a deal breaker when the same happens for Juniors
[22:27:50] smathy: ...but seniors are never in that "salary < value" point, unless they were silly when they initially took the job.
[22:28:29] smathy: My point is just that if your plan, in a hot market, is to hire juniors and train them yourself to the point where you're getting more value than they're costing, then you might not like what happens after that break-even point.
[22:34:11] smathy: From where I sit, taking location out of the equation for your hiring is such a remedy for a hot market that it's a little surprising that it hasn't been more fully embraced. I can only think because many decision makers are still entirely unaware of how big a difference there is between the good techie and the great one.
[23:02:50] eam: we offer 'em a full time position after they're done, they take it, everyone's happy (and if they don't, honestly, that's fine because they're generally always productive)
[23:03:31] eam: that's the other side of a hot market: wages are suuuuper inflated (300k is the new 100k) and so even if you hire an intern at 100k/yr and they do half the work output of a sr eng, it's worth it
[23:04:12] eam: eg http://www.businessinsider.com/revenue-per-employee-charts-are-a-fascinating-way-to-judge-the-health-of-tech-companies-2015-4
[23:05:23] smathy: eam, yep, interns are a different thing to hiring juniors. Although from there on you lost me, $100k for an intern, I don't know what market you're in.
[23:15:11] eam: because even when you're recruiting sophomores, the bar's so damn high a lot of people aren't able to make it
[23:17:50] smathy: Ok, interesting. That's not what I'm seeing in that market as I'm looking for things.
[23:20:47] eam: keep in mind, companies that do hiring referral bonuses often price them in the 5 digits
[23:24:19] smathy: ...obviously in a market like SV there are very different economies at play than I'm used to.
[23:25:19] eam: if you're making things at a profit of roughly $1m per employee work output you can afford to pay your employees a shitload
[23:25:26] smathy: eam, sure, but the choice isn't "hire an intern or hire no one" it's "hire an intern or hire an experienced dev"
[23:30:19] havenwood: I'm enjoying being in LA at the moment. :) I guess SF isn't too very far away.
[23:32:28] smathy: ...and enjoy the same or worse accommodation for two or three times your current rent/mortgage ;)
[23:32:50] eam: havenwood: smathy: This writeup matches what I know about these large employers: https://blog.step.com/2016/04/08/an-open-source-project-for-tech-salaries/
[23:34:11] eam: you have to kinda keep in mind that equity growth fudges the takehome (your equity comp will double if the company doubles) but it's about right in terms of what to expect
[23:37:12] eam: most of the ruby shops are startup-y and a lot of the comp is funny money options, but there are a few people who would need a principal ruby person with internals knowledge and would hire at the level 3 pay scale for that easy
[23:41:29] eam: this is actually a pretty fantastically accurate account of how things work: http://haseebq.com/farewell-app-academy-hello-airbnb-part-ii/
[23:41:50] eam: you've gotta hunt around for the people who think they need you, and be able to say "no" to climb the ladder
[23:42:09] smathy: eam, yeah, I know how it works at Google. Unless you're a renowned engineer in the world, or being acquired, no one walks in off the street to an E5/6 though. You'll start at E4 max, which is $150k in cash.
[23:43:24] eam: renowned can be a lot less than you might think, and work experience at another shop counts
[23:45:24] eam: 'cuz I mean, when your pals go, the first thing that happens is the recrutier talks to you
[23:45:55] smathy: So even if it's $300k in cash, so 3x this mythical six-figure intern, I'd still pay that over an intern all day.
[23:46:54] smathy: ...especially if I was already a fairly sought after first job as all four of those employers are.
[23:47:07] Radar: (I got about 3hrs proper sleep last night so debating hot topics on the internet may not be a great idea0
[23:47:27] smathy: Radar, I think it's pretty easy for google and facebook if they're throwing $300k at them, yes.
[23:48:03] Radar: smathy: If someone offered me a $300k job without having to relocate to SF I would not say no ;)
[23:48:33] eam: smathy: a decade and a half ago Microsoft basically hired me off the street with no work experience for around 60k
[23:49:23] eam: and by off the street I mean my resume was 6 months long and I had a high school diploma
[23:49:28] smathy: eam, ok, and in 1995 I was hired by Bigpond for $52k for my first dev job with no degree.
[23:50:27] eam: right, what Microsoft does is kinda super interesting: they have a huge contingency headcount
[23:50:43] eam: so they can easily get rid of you if you don't work out, but it's a great way to get a foothold
[23:51:19] smathy: ACTION wonders if "a decade and a half ago" was actually during the dot com bubble
[23:52:47] eam: making it harder to fire people has a side effect of making it harder to hire people
[23:53:01] smathy: ...but really my point is that neither you nor I were interns, nor were either of our starting salaries $100k (and $60k is more like $80k than $90k in 2016 dollars according to the internet)
[23:53:05] eam: so you have this really interesting dynamic where companies will take fewer risks as the stakes rise
[23:54:08] eam: I'm saying the spread is 60-120k for interns because I have firsthand information as to what the market is currently offering
[23:55:03] eam: I've seen some interns produce at insanely high output levels -- there's huge variability
[23:55:52] eam: and if I think back to early in my career I can remember tackling some projects which in retrospect were stretch goals for the team and I wasn't expected to deliver
[23:58:04] eam: hey, my boss was 17 when he sat in a hotel room with Woz and implemented the disk subroutines for apple
[23:59:49] smathy: I suppose if that's what you mean, that in the history of the valley, there has been at least one intern paid $100k then I have no issue with that.
[23:59:52] eam: I've worked with a hell of a lot of single cases in my career (and as a sr engineer the majority of my time is now spent training them)